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NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Designing a Fitness Plan (Part 4): Blending Pain Relief With Healthy Aging
Pain relief is still the No. 1 reason patients come to my office. However, most of my patients have other goals as well, such as: "I want to lose 10 to 20 pounds"; "I feel old and want to slow down the aging process"; "My doctor says I am becoming a diabetic and need to exercise"; or "I'm tired and want more energy."
Excited to Share the Science of Chiropractic: An Interview With Dr. Heidi Haavik
Dr. Heidi Haavik has become known in the circle of chiropractic researchers as not only a rising star, but also one willing to do research that can have a major impact in the scientific world and how chiropractic is perceived.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Misconceptions & Opportunities With Medicare
As I speak around the country on how to properly document Medicare patient encounters, I get questions regarding opting out of Medicare. There are many misconceptions about opting out of Medicare, including just what it means to opt out.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Day in the Life of an Advanced-Practice DC
Can you tell us a little about your background in the profession? Why did you want to become a DC? I studied at Boston University from 1968-1972 as a pre-med student majoring in biology.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
An Alarming Lack of Accountability
Accountability seems to be a lost quality today. The simple act of taking responsibility and doing the right thing just doesn't happen as often as it should. Maybe it is the litigious nature of our society.
Let's Streamline Your Front Desk
Your front office can be your greatest source of efficiency or a constant bottleneck. Increasing the productivity of this area without sacrificing the quality of patient interaction can be a little tricky.
News in Brief
Northwestern Student Honored for Addressing Concussions Head-On; Northwestern Announces New CFO; Life U. to Provide Unique Opportunity.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
F4CP Launches New Social Media Campaign
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress has launched a new service to help member doctors: a social media campaign called "Accelerator."
Specialized Pro-Resolving Mediators: 21st Century Inflammation Fighters
Specialized pro-resolving mediators, or SPMs, are a portion of the omega-3 fatty-acid spectrum that have been shown to have a powerful effect on reducing inflammation.
Identify & Adjust the Apex Posterior Sacrum
Low back pain involving an apex posterior sacrum (+θX-axis misalignment) typically presents with signs of lumbosacral joint impingement or facet syndrome.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
How Many of Your Patients Have Sarcopenia?
Figure 1 demonstrates the typical appearance of sarcopenia in the paravertebral muscles. Have you considered evaluating your patients for this problem? Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of skeletal muscle mass and function that affects the older population.
March, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 03
The Evils of Money
By Cliff Korn, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Why do some massage therapists shun money? I've been fortunate to be on the table of some of the best therapists - ones who could work magic! In almost any other profession, these would be some of the wealthiest people in their communities, but they are simply "regular folk" who don't raise the eyebrows of the bank tellers when they make their deposits.Why do so many massage therapists think that they can't raise rates, or that asking to be compensated for a missed appointment is so awful? Why don't they think it's okay to ask for more money if they've worked past the agreed-upon length of time?
Many young people are entering the profession now, some because of the "big money opportunity." They see a short amount of study time and jumping through a few hoops as the fast track to making $60, $75 or $100 per hour! Right! We all know the fallacy in that dream; a 40-hour week at our billable hourly rate just isn't possible. Most massage therapists I know dread doing six hours of actual massage per day, let alone eight. It's too much hard work for their bodies to sustain. Setting aside the reality of the numbers, what happens to people while in massage school that turns them from "show me the money" therapists into "this is a calling; wouldn't it be wonderful if money didn't get in the way" therapists or "I'm not worthy of accepting money for this practice" therapists? Many of us are afraid to demand compensation commensurate with the derived benefits of our patients and clients.
I was recently part of a panel discussion on practice building and the attainment of "success" by massage therapists. I was pleased to be on a panel of peers whom I admire for their abilities and accomplishments. While the discussion went in many different directions, one item kept repeating itself over and over: Massage therapists frequently fail to meet their practice and financial goals because they don't treat it as a business. They don't learn the skills to develop and execute a business plan. It's as though our ability to please has made us scared of money! A good friend of mine (who was also involved in the panel discussion) said he found this problem so prevalent that he has students in his workshops pass a $50 or $100 bill back and forth, and practice saying, "Thank you for the money!" The public is starting to catch on to how important we are to them! Isn't it time we caught up to what they already know? We are worthy! I love it now when I meet new people and tell them I am a massage therapist. I no longer get the wide-eyed stare or snicker. Now the typical response is, "Wow, that's neat!"
It's acceptable for therapists just out of school and not confident in their skills to charge less than the market price; however, those of us with track records of meeting client expectations should proudly hold our heads high as we share space with other businesses. People who get their hair done don't expect to get highlights for free; people dining out expect an occasional increase in menu price and to pay for the wine!
Why, then, should a client who arrives in discomfort leave with a free tube of BioFreeze, instead of buying it? Why should a client, who books for a relaxation massage and then mentions headaches and hip pain (which calls for us to draw upon more advanced skills and methods), expect to pay the same price? Likewise, a client who mentions shoulder or neck pain at the end of the massage and causes us to go over on time should pay an additional fee. Why do we think our businesses are any less worthy of profit than the ones we frequent on a daily basis? Money is nothing more than a medium exchange of energy. We don't "get" it; we "earn" it!
It's time we conducted a realistic self-analysis. We need to rethink our importance and our position, and what that means for the well being of society. I don't have the answers to all of the questions I've asked here, but I do know that massage therapists should be prospering more than they are. This year, after you have taken those continuing-education classes you have planned, invest in a business course "just for you!" I'm really looking forward to the day when that bank teller's eyebrows go way up!
Thanks for listening!
Massage Today encourages letters to the editor to discuss matters relating to the publication's content. Letters may be published in a future issue of Massage Today. Please send all correspondence by e-mail to , or by regular mail to:
Former editor of Massage Today, Cliff is owner of Windham Health Center Neuromuscular Therapy LLC. He is nationally certified in therapeutic massage & bodywork and is licensed as a massage therapist by the states of New Hampshire and Florida. Cliff is a member of the International Association of Healthcare Practitioners; a professional member and past president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Massage Therapy Association; a certified member of the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals, Inc.; and a past chairman of the board of directors of the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork.
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